Marx argued that the main function of religion was to dull the pain of oppression used by the ruling class to impose social order and inibit social change. It does this by creating a 'false class consciousness' which means relgion blinds the people of their real situation by giving them immaterial hope and teaching them capitalist ideology that their poition as lower class is justified.
It also does his by using religion as a way to transmit the reporduce the ruling class ideology which supports the position of the ruling classes, ensuring security for their wealth, keep their privilidged position and the subordination of the working class.
Firstly, there is evidence to suggest that the idea that religion is there to keep the ruling class in a privilidged position. The Medievel Kings ruled their land by 'divine right.' This allowed them to justify their actions of the will of god of which people wouldn't question. A consequence of this was that nobody would challenge them and by this let them keep their privilidged position as Kings and Queens. Marx would say these Kings and Queen used religion in a way to make sure they stayed as Kings and used god as an excuse to do what they please with their superior power.
The Egyptian kings combined God and King in the same person, this would suggest they used the idea that as king they were also god to blind the lower class into thinking that the situation they were in was unchangable due to it being god that put them into this. As religion was a major influence at that time, people looked at relgion for explanations into everything they did and by exploting relgion these Kings were allowed to remain as king without being challenged by the lower class.
Marxists also believe that religion is there to stop social change, they believe that religion hides the pain and suffering you're in and instead disguises it. The Methodist Revival of the 18th...